Contemporary Architecture

De Stijl: The evolution and dissolution of Neoplasticism

Essential Elements:

  • Abstraction
  • Rectilinear Geometry
  • Use of primary colors

The tenets of Neoplasticism

  •  Coloration must be in the primary colors of red, blue and yellow or the non-colors of black, gray and white.
  • Surfaces must rectangular planes or prisms.
  • Aesthetic balance must be achieved and this is done through the use of opposition.
  • Compositional elements must be straight lines or rectangular areas.
  • Symmetry is to be avoided.
  • Balance and rhythm are enhanced by relationships of proportion and location.


  • Founded in 1917
  • Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg and Gerrit Reitveld.
  • Published a journal ‘De Stijl’ from 1917 – 32.
  • Other members were Georges Vantongerloo , Jacobus-Johannes-Pieter Oud, Bart van der Leck and more.
  • “Pure plastic vision should build a new society, in the same way that in art it has built a new plasticism”. – Piet Mondrian
  •  An expression of absolutes of life.
  • Only absolutes of life were vertical and horizontal lines and the primary colors.
  • Art as a collective approach

Theo van Doesburg and Hans Vogel

  • Studies for purely Architectural Sculpture resulting from ground floor plan, 1921.
  • In this study the asymmetrical pyramidal composition of cubic volumes is strictly generated from the plan. All ornamental accentuation has been eliminated.

Contra-Construction, 1923:

  • Theo van Doesburg and Cornelis van Eesteren
  • Axonometric drawing of hotel Particulier.
  • 3-D Representation of objects in 2-D
  • A development of van Doesburg’s earlier studies, the cubic composition is further broken by arbitrary places rectangles of color.

Rietveld Schroder House, Utrecht 1924, Gerrit Rietveld:

  • Radical break from its past.
  • One of the best known and the most perfect example of De Stijl Architecture.
  • A dynamic, changeable open planning concept.
  • Traditional ground floor plan.
  • Sliding and revolving panels provide flexibility to the upper floor.
  • Rietveld Chair,1924,Designed as furniture for the Rietveld Schroder house.

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